I saw something on instagram the other day that made me really angry. Yet another device for new parents, designed to relieve their worries and give them peace of mind (or piece, if you’re the idiots marketing it) These things aren’t for peace of mind – they are to make money out of people’s fears – fears that wouldn’t even BE there were it not for the relentless pounding of them into parent’s heads.
Take this latest piece of tat. An electronic listening device that you attach to your newborn baby. To their throat. So you can listen to whether or not they are drinking any breastmilk. Because, you know – you can’t FEEL that happening. Or SEE their little throats working. Or notice the fact that they are PEEING AND POOPING ALL THE FRIGGING TIME.
Honestly! What a mercenary piece of crap that is! Preying on parents fears. All designed to make you doubt yourself. All designed to stop you using one of the most important – and completely free – things you possess.
Your common sense.
Being a helpful type, here are some of my top annoying useless piece’s of crap you will be pressured to buy, which you will probably never use BECAUSE YOU DON’T NEED THEM.
Apparently there is an optimum room temperature for babies to sleep in. No shit Sherlock, we all like an ambient temperature to sleep in. Thing is – there’s not a lot we can do in this country when it’s hot, we don’t usually have air conditioning. So rather than get sent into a brainless panic because the stupid egg has gone red, try opening the windows, taking the covers off and stripping baby right down. The stupid egg will still be red because it’s – you know, hot – but baby will be fine. Feel their neck – if they feel really hot, do things to cool them down. You don’t need a room thermometer to tell you it’s as hot as Hades in there.
What’s wrong with sticking your goddamn elbow in the bath any more?! Unless you have some sort of nervous issue going on where you can’t differentiate between hot and cold, you aren’t going to broil your baby. Check it with your elbow, splash it all over yourself if you want. Get in there with the baby, presuming you don’t mind the risk of poonami’s. Even a turnip can tell the difference between hot and warm, you really don’t need to waste money on things THAT MIGHT BREAK.
Why why why why are you going to give your kid a bit of food in a manky net to chew on? Just watch the little buggers like a hawk when they are eating, and follow the principles of baby led weaning – soft, well cooked, grippable. Cut grapes in half. Babies need texture as well as flavour – why stuff a perfectly good piece of cucumber in a bag that you’re planning on washing in Fairy Liquid and using again?! YUCK. Just keep an eye on them, and if you are really scared (actually, do this anyway if you can) go on a baby first aid course. Or just give them puree if you are that worried!
I literally do not know anyone who has used one of these contraptions. I was given one that had been handed on by no less than 5 people, still unused. Not because their babies had never got colds, but because EWW and WHY?! Your poor baby has a cold and is so snuffly and sorry for themselves you want to cry yourself, and then you are going to ram a TUBE up their poor sore little noses and try and slurp out a load of snot?! No. Just no. Don’t waste your money, a steamy bathroom and a dab of vicks will do a much better job. Poor babies.
Someone bought us a set of these when we had Rian, and I just had no clue. I knew that baby boys like to wee wide and free as soon as the nappy comes off, because that’s what baby boys always do in Hollywood innit. We tried the wee catcher, which if you don’t know is a little felt cone you pop on willy while you’re changing baby to catch wee, only did it work? No of course not. If the damn thing wasn’t just rolling off then it was being propelled past my ear at a rate of knots by a stream of piss. It ended up eloping with the socks in our washing machine and I never missed it. Just have a clean nappy and a muslin at the ready when changing baby, and I guarantee you won’t get wee up your nose.
Top and Tail Bowls:
Really people. Really? You honestly think parents aren’t capable of differentiating the arse end of baby from the top end? I mean I know they are both noisy and require similar amounts of attendance – often simultaneously – but seriously! Who is going to wash their baby’s bum, then their face, with the same water and cloth?! ARGHHH.
You look like a twit. It could not be MORE obvious that you are breastfeeding. BOOBS ARE NORMAL. WOMEN HAVE BOOBS. SOME WOMEN USE THEIR BOOBS TO SHUT UP THEIR WAILING INFANTS.
Also babies tend to have these things called HEADS which usually block out most of the boob – sorry pervs. Why suffocate your baby with a massive, horribly patterned smock thing that is going to boil both of you, when you can wear a vest under a tshirt and pull one up and one down? Little bit of boob pops out and bob’s your uncle, happy baby. Yes, there is always a risk of a small nip flash, especially if the little buggers are doing that Waaa-luhluhmuhmeh-neurghhh-Aaah thing and shaking their heads about but it’s RUDE to stare people!
What’s the best thing you were terrified into buying, then realised you didn’t need it because you actually have a brain in your head with some common sense in it?